by Malvika Jolly
Once we sought to remember past continents
through dream revelation, to trace the routes we took
back to the shores where we were birthed.
Now we know no country but each other.
Dispersed across the ambient of the world,
we are all each other’s dream daughters,
all each other’s past, present, and future.
We are the fruit fallen in the shadow
of the non-fruiting tree. In this nation
of darkwaters there is only us:
no frontier, no chartered passage, no borderlands.
We bow our heads as we pass beneath each other’s auspices.
We are an odd sort of commonwealth, charting poetics
and labor economies. Power cuts out across the dampened city.
In the dark, we dream daughters like the moonflower
blooming, just once, in an Englewood alley.
In the twilight desert, we dream of bougainvillea
blushing on the boundary wall old as Independence.
The people of this city suffer an infestation of History,
for which wound and cure are the same.
After the good doctors cannot cure us,
we seek out the less-good doctors.
We are the rafts built from ancient doors
to which we long ago lost the keys.
No language but communion.
No passports but the sea.
Malvika Jolly (b. 1993, Rouen) is a writer and translator. Her poetry is featured or forthcoming in Frontier Poetry, Liminal Transit Review, MIZNA, Poetry Online, Poetry Northwest, Violet, Indigo, Blue, Etc, and Voicemail Poems. Her essays, interviews, and criticism is featured or forthcoming in Chicago magazine, The Margins, and South Side Weekly, where she is a regular contributor focusing on local culture and community history. She curates the New Third World, a monthly poetry reading series inspired by the Non-Aligned Movement.
This poem previously appeared in Violet Indigo Blue, Etc.